From an exciting opening that features a plane crash into the heart of the Amazon jungle, Freddie, Con, Lila and Max are plunged from the skies right into the heart of the rainforest and begin their story of survival in a world that is menacing, unfamiliar and fraught with danger.
All have had a sheltered upbringing where the closest they have come to adventure is reading about it in books. Now they need to work out what berries they might eat without dying, and come up with a plan of how on earth they might achieve the impossible, escape the miles of dense, threatening jungle and get home.
The team make an enchanting group. They quickly learn they must depend on each other and put their differences aside to survive. They all have to be brave and find skills they didn’t know they had as well as look after each other.
When help arrives it is in an unexpected form, along with the growing realisation that the only possible way out is to first learn to live successfully in the jungle rather than trying to fight it.
It’s an old-fashioned adventure story that will appeal to anyone who dreams of being thrown into an adventure where you only have your wits and bravery to survive.
From being an unfamiliar and threatening place, the children learn to work with the jungle as they learn to work with and trust each other, gradually building as much of a strong bond to each other as they do to the unfamiliar and dangerous world that surrounds them.
From an exciting tale of survival against the odds, grows a charming, compelling and warm-hearted tale of friendships forged in danger, responsibility – and respect for the natural world.
Not simply an exciting adventure story, this will leave readers with plenty to think about.
One of my Books of 2017 - Nicki Thornton